Explain Absolute, Relative, Fixed Positioning Difference

By | May 16, 2017

Explain Absolute, Relative, Fixed Positioning Difference

I am rather new to website design as well as I can never master the distinctions in positioning of elements. I understand there are absolute, fixed, as well as relative. Exists any others? Additionally do they majorly vary? And when should you make use of which?

Explain Absolute, Relative, Fixed Positioning Difference

Short answer: Yes, there is one more, “fixed”, which the default is. Yes, they majorly differ. Each of them is incredibly helpful and which you must use course depends upon the preferred outcome. Additionally, remember regarding float, which is a fundamental part of positioning.

Medium solution: I’m not going to do a “long answer” because there is no should rewrite exactly what has been created sometimes before, however I will do a “medium solution” here were we can rapidly run through each kind. I also at some point refer people to this 10 action tutorial, which does a pretty good job of clarifying it.

A crucial principle to understand very first is that each and every single element on a website is a block. Literally a rectangle of pixels. This is understandable when you establish the aspect to screen: block; or if that component is by default screen: block; this means you can establish a size and an elevation and that component will certainly appreciate that. But components that are display screen: inline, like a span by default, are also rectangular shapes, they just move into the web page various, lining up horizontally as they can.

Now that you are imagining every single page component as a block of pixels, we could speak about exactly how positioning is made use of to obtain the blocks of pixels exactly where you desire them to go. We’re going to leave off any conversation of package design, but that aspects right into this also …



This is the default for every solitary web page element. Different components don’t have various default values for positioning, they all begin as fixed. Static doesn’t imply a lot, it simply implies that the aspect will certainly flow right into the web page as it typically would. The only factor you would certainly ever before establish an element to position: static is to forcefully-remove some positioning that got applied to a component beyond your control. This is rather uncommon, as positioning doesn’t waterfall.



This type of positioning is possibly one of the most complex as well as mistreated. Exactly what it really implies is “relative to itself”. If you set position: relative; on a component but nothing else positioning qualities (top, left, bottom or right), it will certainly no effect on it’s positioning in any way, it will certainly be specifically as though if you left it as position: static; But if you DO offer it a few other positioning attribute, claim, leading: 10px;, it will move it’s position 10 pixels DOWN from where it would NORMALLY be. I’m sure you could visualize, the capability to change an element around based upon it’s regular position is quite useful. I discover myself using this to align type components many times that have a tendency to not intend to align how I want them to.

There are two other points that happen when you establish position: relative; on a component that you ought to know. One is that it presents the capability to utilize z-index on that particular aspect, which doesn’t really work with statically located components. Even if you do not establish a z-index value, this component will certainly now show up in addition to any other statically positioned component. You cannot combat it by establishing a greater z-index value on a statically located aspect. The other thing that happens is it limits the extent of absolutely located child elements. Any aspect that is a kid of the reasonably positioned element can be absolutely placed within that block. This raises some powerful possibilities which I speak about below.



This is an extremely powerful type of positioning that enables you to essentially put any web page element exactly where you want it. You utilize the positioning characteristics top, left base and right to establish the area. Keep in mind that these values will be about the next moms and dad element with relative (or absolute) positioning. If there is no such moms and dad, it will certainly default completely back up to the <html> aspect itself suggesting it will be placed relatively to the web page itself.

The compromise, and also crucial thing to bear in mind, concerning absolute positioning is that these aspects are removed from the flow of components on the page. An aspect with this sort of positioning is not influenced by various other elements and it does not affect other components. This is a significant point to consider whenever you utilize absolute positioning. It’s overuse or improper usage can limit the versatility of your site.



This sort of positioning is relatively uncommon yet definitely has its uses. A fixed position element is located relative to the viewport, or the browser window itself. The viewport doesn’t transform when the home window is scrolled, so a fixed positioned element will stay right where it is when the page is scrolled, producing an effect a little bit like the traditional “structures” days. Take a look at this website (upgrade: dead web link, sorry), where the left sidebar is fixed. This website is a best example for because it exhibits both excellent and poor characteristics of fixed positioning. The good is that it keeps the navigating present at all times on the page and it develops as well as interested impact on the page. The negative is that there are some functionality worries. On my smallish laptop computer, the content in the sidebar is cut off and also there is no other way from me to scroll to see the remainder of that material. Likewise if I scroll right to the footer, it overlaps the footer material not permitting me to see every one of that. Cool effect, can be useful, but should be completely tested.

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